Entertainment giant HMV is set to ramp up its games offer after posting a pre-tax loss of £28.7 million in the six months to October 27.

HMV chief executive Simon Fox said he plans to expand the retailer’s games offer, which accounts for 15 per cent of its product mix, to more than 20 per cent in the next three years.

His plan to grab a larger slice of the lucrative gaming market came as Game posted soaring sales up 89.1 per cent – including its acquisition of Gamestation – in the 45 weeks to December 8.

Last month, HMV launched one of the UK’s largest PC gaming centres at its store at the Trocadero in London. In October, it opened an Xbox 360 gaming zone at its store in Edinburgh. Fox said that both formats were working well and driving store sales. He said: “We will see how we trade over Christmas, but we do have plans to roll out.”

Although the group’s loss was down slightly on the£29.2 million it posted for the same period a year ago, it included proceeds from the disposal of HMV Japan, which was sold for£70.6 million in July.

Group sales rose 9.5 per cent to£790.2 million and like-for-likes climbed 5 per cent in the six months to October 27. For the overall group, Fox said HMV was “feeling confident about Christmas”.

He added that the retailer’s trial of two next-generation stores is going well and it has plans to open a further four stores next year: two at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, one at High Wycombe and one in Liverpool by early summer. He said the seven Fopp stores that the retailer acquired in August were trading well, adding he plans to open a handful more Fopp stores next year.

International sales were flat year on year, with like-for-likes sliding 2.5 per cent, hit by a poor performance at HMV Canada. At bookseller Waterstone’s, like-for-likes rose 1.4 per cent.